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Love Letters to the Dead warms hearts

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The story is about a girl, Laurel, with an English assignment: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel decided to pick Nirvana lead singer, Kurt Cobain because her older sister, May, loved him and like Cobain she also died young. And before Laurel knew it, she had a whole notebook full of letters to the dead – people like Heath Ledger, Janis Joplin, Amelia Earhart and Amy Winehouse – though she never submitted a single letter.

Everything in the letters is about starting high school, starting new friendships with upperclassman, learning to live her life with a broken family, falling in love for the first time and May’s death. But Laurel starts to question how to mourn over someone who she hasn’t forgiven?

It not until Laurel has written the truth about everything that’s happened to herself that she can finally come to closure with what happened to May. Within each letter and thinking about the past, Laurel starts to come to her senses to see the kind of person her sister truly was – lovely, amazing and very and deeply flawed. It’s within this realization where she finds herself and her path as a new highschooler.
 


 
“Love Letters to the Dead” is a beautifully written novel by, Ava Dellaria. It’s a story about a girl’s journey through the challenges of life with a deep and often heartbreaking beauty. Each letter reveals more and more about Laurel and how she thinks, how she feels.

Each character is told in a vibrant way that makes it difficult for readers to not personally connect with at least one character. With each letter the reader is given something to truly think about on the topic of life and the challenges it throws at us.

I recommend this novel for high schoolers, especially the kids that need a little push on the right road. Reading this book changed my outlook on life, that not everything is glamorous and that we will face challenges sooner or later. It’s a novel that is perfect gift for the holiday season.
 


 

If I Stay Movie Review

Previously, I wrote a review on the book, If I Stay by Gayle Forman which recently came out as a major motion picture.

This is the first movie that I have seen that follows the book precisely and when I say that I mean line for line and stays to the plot.

If I Stay is about a young girl, Mia, who has to make the decision of a lifetime. She is living this perfect life with the perfect family, perfect boyfriend, and a chance to attend Juilliard after high school for cello. But in an instant, everything in Mia’s life turns upside down in a car crash that kills her family. Now it’s Mia’s decision to wake up from her coma or to die along with the rest of her family.

The movie stars, Chloe Grace Moretz as Mia and Jamie Blackley as Adam, Mia’s love interest in the book and movie.

I walked into the movie theatre with candy, popcorn and a box of tissues. Truthfully, I cried more than I did in The Fault in our Stars, which is saying a lot if you have seen the movie or read the book. Moretz and Blackley did an outstanding job bringing Mia and Adam and their love to life.

If I Stay was a movie made for hopeless romantics. It’s a movie to see with family, with friends, with your significant other and it’s a movie to see by yourself. It’s full of meaningful life lessons, comedy, love and heartbreak. Everything a movie needs is right here in If I Stay.
However, I do recommend that you see this movie with a box of tissues and lots of comfort food, you’re going to need it!

Ohio Machine Locks Up the Outlaws: Third Win in a Row

Midfielder Kyle Harrison cradles the ball on his way to drilling the final goal for the Machine

Midfielder Kyle Harrison cradles the ball on his way to drilling the final goal for the Machine. Photo by Spenser Hickey – DelawareO

Saturday, June 26th the Ohio Machine took on the Denver Outlaws, and boy was it an intense game. The first quarter started off pretty sketchy. Eric O’Brien, number 10, from the Machine was up against Anthony Kelly, number 47, from the Outlaws. The first faceoff is always the most dramatic, it sets to tone for the game. Kelly from Outlaws had won the faceoff which soon lead to Chris Bocklet from the Outlaws to score the first goal. Within only a few seconds the Outlaws had managed to score.

 A minute later, Jeremy Sieverts from the Outlaws scored causing the score to be Machine 0 and Outlaws 2. Just as the Outlaws made their third goal, the game started to get interesting. With the score being Machine 0 and Outlaws 3 it starts to pour down along with lightning and a sounds of thunder in the distance.

 The first quarter isn’t even over and the game is delayed. The patient fans waited out the rain and the game continued at 6:02 right on the dot. The time that the Machine was given was the perfect opportunity to pull together as a team.

As the last six minutes of the first quarter tick away, the machine starts to make a comeback. Logan Schuss makes the first goal for the Machine setting the score 1-3. After Schuss’s first goal, the Machine made three more after that bringing the score to 4-3.

 The first quarter ended with the Outlaws making a score in the last six seconds. Which brought the score to a tie, 4-4.

 The start of the second quarter was a lot like the first. O’Brien and Kelly started off the quarter with an intense faceoff. In the end Outlaws won the faceoff which helped the team score causing the score to be 4-5. Outlaws winning by one. Back and forward each team started getting goals.

 With six minutes left in the quarter, Machine player Chad Wiedmaier was given a penalty for holding and had to sit out for a minute. The score is Machine 9 and Outlaws 10. In less than two minutes the Outlaws score two more goals leaving the second quarter with the Outlaws winning, 9-12.

 The second quarter was the Outlaws quarter, but the Machine owned the third quarter.

Machine Midfielder Dominique Alexander fires the Machine's 12th goal. Photo by Spenser Hickey - DelawareO

Machine Midfielder Dominique Alexander fires the Machine’s 12th goal. Photo by Spenser Hickey – DelawareO

 The third quarter started off exactly like the first and second did, the Outlaws won the faceoffs and scored the first goal of the quarter. The Outlaws then scored another goal which caused some drama on the field. The Machine challenged the Outlaws which left the final decision to the refs. After waiting for two minutes, the refs decided to give the Outlaws the point.

 The score is 9-14. Outlaws are winning. The machine is down my five. During the quarter the Machine made a great comback and scored a total of seven goals while the Outlaws scored five goals this quarter.

 At the end of the quarter the score was Machine 16 and Outlaws 17. This is the point in the game where it gets really intense. There’s one quarter left in the game and a lot can happen in just one quarter. The crowd gets anxious and excited and that’s when the players feed off of the crowd.

 “It’s always nice to get extra energy from the crowd.” said head coach Bear Davis.

 This crowd was really getting into the game. They chanted the player’s names, chanted on the defense and even booed some of the calls the refs made. This really gets the players going, it helps them amp up and get into the zone.

 “We love the crowd,” said O’Brien. “It rained and everyone could have left. But they stuck around. A big thanks to all of the Delaware fans.”

Click here to see more Machine Game Day Photos.

 The fourth quarter started out like the other quarters. Outlaws won the faceoff and scored the first goal. Only a few minutes into the game number 91 from the Outlaws, Dillon Roy, is on the ground. The penalty is given to Machine player number 10, Eric O’Brien for crosscheck.

 After the penalty, the machine scores two more goals brings the score to 18-18. Both teams score back and forward. First the Outlaws score, then the Machine then the Outlaws then the machine. In the last twenty seconds, the Machine and Outlaws are tied. 22-22.

 The tie means overtime.

 This is the second game in a row where the Machine goes into overtime. The crowd is on their feet, screaming and chanting for the Machine. “Defense. Defense.” The crowd chants, almost shaking the stadium.

A flag is thrown, one of many in a tightly fought game. Photo by Spenser Hickey - DelawareO

A flag is thrown, one of many in a tightly fought game. Photo by Spenser Hickey – DelawareO

 “Offense stepped it up and so did defense,” said O’Brien. “Our number two in overtime.”

 There’s a twist of events. The machine wins the faceoff, all thanks to Midfield player number 36, Bobby Dattilo. It’s an intense few minutes, first the Machine has the ball and then Outlaws take it and try to shoot. The crowd continues to chant, “Defense! Defense!”.

 The clock reads 8:15 when Kyle Harrison, number 18 for the Ohio Machine scores the winning goal. The final score is 23-22. The Machine have won their third game in a row.

 “I think we’re unbeatable right now.” said O’Brien.

 This game was not only intense but was also the highest scoring game of the season for the Machine players.

 “It was just a crazy game.” said team captain, Steele Stanwick. After missing the past two games, Stanwick was happy to be back and playing with his team. This was Stanwick’s game. He scored three goals and had several assists. “This is our first time beating the Outlaws, Stanwick says. “I’ve been here since year one and to see this kind of transition is amazing.”

The Machine will be playing against the Rochester Rattlers on August 2nd for their last away game of the season. Best of luck to the Machine players! Oil up!

Eleanor and Park Book Review

I created this long list of books to read this summer. One book that’s on that list is titled, Eleanor and Park. Let’s start off by saying that this was an excellent book to start my summer off with.

Eleanor and Park is written by Rainbow Rowell, who also wrote Fangirl (that’s one book on my reading list) and many more.

Eleanor and Park is about two average misfit teenagers falling in love. Eleanor isn’t your average leading female. She has a unique style all on her own, with her crazy red curls and her mismatched clothes. And Park, he’s not your typical leading man. Awkward and nerdy the asian boy either listens to his rock and roll on his walkman or reads comics.

When Eleanor moves in to this new town with her new stepfather, her life changes. Her stepfather isn’t the nicest. Her and her other siblings live in a tiny house and by tiny I mean that all four of them share a bedroom. Their bathroom doesn’t even have a door! But Eleanor manages to get by, barley. Park lives next door to his grandparents and has a normal life with his family.

For the first few chapters, Eleanor and Park don’t really speak to each other. They may exchange a few looks, Park may let her borrow his comics (without saying anything) but they don’t even speak to each other.

Slowly, they fall for each other as the storyline goes on. One thing leads to another and they become an item. However, both of them know that love never lasts especially when you’re their age. But they take the chance anyways.

Eleanor and Park was a beautifully written book. The characters were romantic, vibrant, and felt more real than fictional. Rowell did an outstanding job on this storyline. Truthfully, it was one of the best books I had ever read.
It’s filled with romance, comedy, and even has heartbreaking scenes. I highly recommend this book to anyone. That’s the best part about this book, the book is appropriate for not only young adults, but also adults. So go pick up Eleanor and Park today, you won’t regret reading this book.

The Fault in our Stars Movie Review

On Sunday June 8th I showed up to the movies with a box of tissues ready (at least I thought I was) to see The Fault in our Stars. First things first, I was wrong, so wrong. I was not prepared for this movie.

 

So for those of you who have read the book you understand the storyline, I even did a book review on it! However for those of you who have not read the book or my review, you should. But I’ll explain the storyline to you anyways.

 

The Fault in our Stars stars, Shailene Woodley as Hazel Grace Lancaster. Hazel is a seventeen year old teenager struggling with thyroid (which spread to her lungs) cancer. She has one half of working lungs. At a support group, Hazel bumps into Augustus Waters, played by Ansel Elgort. Instantly it is love at first sight. Augustus Waters previously had Osteosarcoma which is leg cancer. It cost him to lost part of one of his leg, and as Augustus Waters like to say, he’s part robot.

 

Later on in the movie, Hazel’s lungs started to fill up with water. She told Augustus that they had to stay friends because of her condition. In her defense she believes that she could die at any time, and didn’t want to put Augustus in that position.

 

Soon after, Augustus shared with Hazel that he will spend his Genies wish with Hazel in Amsterdam to meet their favorite author, Peter Van Houten, played by Willem Dafoe, and get answers about the cliffhanger of their favorite book, An Imperial Affliction.

 

On this trip, Augustus announces his love for Hazel (it was really cute and made me cry like crazy) and Hazel continued to be his friend and nothing more. After meeting their author, things start to go downhill. Not only was their meet and greet a complete failure due to a jerk of an author, but Augustus shared some terrible news with Hazel.

 

Augustus had several tumor all over his body which started a new chapter of their epic love story.

 

However the one positive thing that they both got out of this trip was Augustus got out of the friendzone. And their love story grew and grew.

 

I read the book six times and the movie totally did the book it’s justice. It gave me all of the emotions that the book gave me. No really, I started crying five minutes into the movie and continued to cry the rest of the movie.

 

This is a must see movie, I’ve already seen it twice and will probably go back a third time. The movie had a spectacular cast and soundtrack. But the best part of this movie was the fact that it followed the book so perfectly. When I saw it the first time, I could quote a lot of the scenes because it was word from word from the book.

 

The Fault in our Stars is a movie you can see with anyone. Just don’t forget to bring the tissues, you’ll need them.

 

Movie Review: Neighbors

For awhile I was deciding whether or not I should do this review. Neighbors is a movie meant for teenager and adults for a goofy friday night movie event. After a few hours of deciding, I started writing.

 

Neighbors is about new family, Mac (played by Seth Rogen) and Kelly Radner (played by Rose Byrne) live the new family life with their six month old daughter, Stella. They face the everyday challenges that any other new family would. For example, when is going out okay and when to fit their own pleasures in.

 

When their new neighbors move in, it isn’t what they expected. Their neighbors are a fraternity full of party animals. Everything starts off okay, Mac and Kelly ask to have them keep the noise down and President of the fraternity, Teddy Sanders (played by Zac Efron), made them promise if they’re too loud to talk to him and not the police.

 

Everything changes when Mac and Kelly call the police due to the noise. The fraternity starts their revenge on Mac and Kelly with ridiculous little stunts. Soon it’s a full on war between new parents Mac and Kelly and fraternity president, Teddy.

 

I found this movie incredibly entertaining. It’s definitely not for children but for teenagers and or adults looking for a good comedy to entertain them. Neighbors certainly does it’s job in making the audience entertained.

 

Seth Rogen is known for a lot of comedy productions, however Zac Efron is just starting to get into them. Zac Efron starred in High School Musical one, two and three and then moved to dramatic and romantic movies and then starred in comedy movies.
The movie consists of a lot of profanity, some sexual scenes, and drugs. I say this again, this movie is not for kids. This movie is for teenagers and adults. It was a good movie and I recommend this for a goofy movie to see with friends.

The Amazing Spider-Man Movie Review

I love superhero movies. I’ve seen every Marvel superhero movie, however I was not a fan of this superhero movie. My brother and I were dying to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2. But once we got there, we were really upset with this movie.

 

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 follows the first movie, The Amazing Spider-Man, which stars Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey. The movie is about Peter struggling to keep his promise to Gwen’s father by staying away from her. Peter constantly beats himself up in fear that if he loves Gwen, her life will be put out on the line. But he loves Gwen too much to leave her alone. Then there’s the pressure of being Spider-Man and saving every crime from the city. When Peter’s old friend, Harry Osborn, comes to him asking to see Spider-Man so he can be saved, Peter now faces more problems. Should he let Harry down by saying Spider-Man won’t help? Or give Harry the blood that he needs to live? Peter decides to turn Harry down which creates an enemy for Spider-Man.

 

But Peter has more problems added to his life, there’s a second villain in the picture. Jamie Foxx plays the incredible villain, Electro. Electro is a troubled villain. Before the accident causing him to gain his powers, he was a nobody with an obsession over Spider-Man. But when Electro believes that Spider-Man is trying to take all of the fame, he snaps. Now Spider-Man has two villains on his plate along with the struggle of staying away from the love of his life.

 

Sounds like a pretty intense movie? Wrong. Even with the two villains trying to destroy Spider-Man there was NO action. It was all romance. I know I’m all for the romance, but I was looking forward to seeing some butt kicking going on!
So, if you’re looking for a movie to see this weekend. I would recommend to not see The Amazing-Spider Man, unless you want to see more romance than action. This movie really disappointed me in the end.

If I Stay – Book Review

I have this long list of books I need to read, it the list keeps growing and growing. I just completed the book, If I Stay by Gayle Forman. Part of the reason was because the movie is coming out August 22nd, 2014 and it looks so good, so I kind of had to read the book before I saw the movie.

If I Stay is about a seventeen year old girl, Mia living the perfect life. She has the perfect family, an amazing cello musician who is going somewhere, and the always cliche, perfect boyfriend. But in an instant all of it is taken away from her when she wakes to find that her car is completely ruined. She starts to wonder if she is dead since both of her parents and her little brother are dead. But as she follows her body to the hospital she learns that she’s in a coma. Now Mia has to make the toughest decision in her life. Should she stay or should she die? Mia struggles with this decision. She just lost her entire family and doesn’t know if she can go on without them. But when her grandparents, best friend, Kim and boyfriend, Adam visit her they slowly persuade her to stay.

I got through this book pretty quickly. It was an easy read and pretty addicting. I think another reason I read it was to see her and Adam’s relationship. There were some moments where I shed a tear just because of all the right things that Adam said. With the story filled with constant flashbacks, we learned all of Mia’s feelings and her every thought.

Personally, I love when authors get really into the character. It feels as if the character is an actual living, breathing human being and not just some character we read about. Every character felt real in this story and that’s what good authors do, bring the characters to life.

I recommend this book if you want an emotional story line about hard decisions in life. Also, like I mentioned before, it’s a quick read and one that you won’t regret. I will admit that the ending was terrible, not tragically terrible but cliffhanger horrible. At least there is a sequel. Now all I have to do is wait until the movie.

 

Misfit Academy Book Review

Recently I was given the opportunity to have my first book sent to me to review. I couldn’t help but freak out, I was stepping up in the world. I was given the book, Misfit Academy by Lisa R. Petty.

I’ll have to admit, for a high school student normally reading about alternate universes and teen dramas written by John Green, this was a new kind of book for me. It’s the kind of book that teenagers can relate to with their freshman and sophomore years of high school.

Misfit Academy is about male leading man, Scott and his small private school he attends, Concord Academy. This school has twenty-five kids in his class. So basically everyone knows everyone, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. Yet among these twenty-five children, there are still your typical cliques. You have some rude cheerleaders and the class bully, Wolfgang. Oh, and there’s a new girl, Ashley who keeps messing with Scott’s head. Scott can’t focus around her, not one bit he’s clumsy and can’t speak straight.

Throughout the novel, Scott faces several challenges that other teens have face. For example, Scott watches Ashley date Wolfgang. Scott’s parents are also fighting at home and heading towards divorce. Scott is stressed with all of this drama.

To be honest, this book wasn’t a challenge for me to read. Now, I’m not saying the book was bad, what I’m saying is it wasn’t a challenge. It was good, and I believe that middle school students would be really interested in this book. It’s also a good tool for middle school students to get a realistic idea of high school before entering high school themselves.

I know my freshman year it was really intimidating because I was so small and everyone was so much bigger than me. Plus I didn’t know about Hayes, but with a book like Misfit Academy I think this would be useful. I’m not saying that all of the things that Scott goes through other teens will go through, but sometimes similar events can happen and watching Scott go through these events could help others. So I really reccomend this story for any middle schoolers, or freshman in high school.

Divergent Movie Review

If you read my reviews, you’d see that I reviewed the book, Divergent. As a Divergent fan I feel as if I do not review the movie, I am not giving Roth the justice she deserves.

The movie stars, Shailene Woodley as leading heroine, Beatrice ‘Tris’ Prior. Theo James as leading love interest, Four.

As you know from my review from the novel, the story takes place in the future where a war has demolished the USA. The city of Chicago still stands, and inside this city, there are five factions. Candor the truthful, Amity the peaceful, Erudite the intelligent, Abnegation the selfless, and Dauntless the brave. Once one reached the age of sixteen they must take an aptitude test to help the teenager decide which faction to join because each faction defines who you are. Tris Prior doesn’t really know where she belongs, and when she goes to take the test she hopes to find out. But when her results come back inconclusive, meaning she is divergent, she continues to be confused about who she really is.

At the choosing ceremony the teens decide which faction they want to belong too. Tris decides to transfer from Abnegation to Dauntless. Throughout initiation she makes friends, enemies, memories and starts to feel like she fits in somewhere.

However, the reason I am writing this review is because the book and the movie weren’t similar like I was hoping it would be. The movie left out a lot of big events and characters that the book gave us.

For example, the dauntless born initiates start to friend Tris and in the movie, we don’t really get to see the dauntless born initiates. This was disappointing because some of my favorite characters were absent in the movie. Another thing the movie was missing was when a character gets attacked and stabbed in the eye. This was a big scene in the book that lead to several events in the rest of the trilogy.

But in the end, the movie did have a lot of good things. The movie really emphasized Tris and Four’s relationship and that is my favorite part because I am a hopeless romantic. I will admit I shed a tear or two when they shared their moments.

If you’re into the whole sci-fi, futuristic, action, violence, and love then Divergent is obviously something to do this weekend. I am proud of the cast and crew of the movie and cannot wait to see what Insurgent will bring in March of 2015.